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Quella Vecchia Locanda - Quella Vecchia Locanda CD (album) cover

QUELLA VECCHIA LOCANDA

Quella Vecchia Locanda

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.14 | 348 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Quella Vecchia Locanda's first of only two studio albums (a shame, really), offers a tornado that ripped up symphonic and heavy progressive rock styles and churned out something delicious yet hard to digest. Most of the pieces are admittedly disjointed- the compositions do not all flow very well, but the individual ideas themselves are quite a compensation. All in all, this is an important album for any Rock Progressivo Italiano collection.

"Prologo" With call-and-response violin and piano, other instruments join in, soon creating a frantic yet easy-to-follow rhythmic backing- it is the violin that is the most crazed, sawing through several lower notes before abruptly shooting up into a long high one. Backed by that same rhythm, the singing comes through loud and clear, with a floating monophonic synthesizer in the backdrop. It all falls away to bring in gentle acoustic guitar and more keyboards. The flute solo at the end is a non sequitur, but a welcome one.

"Un Villaggio,Un'illsione" Sweet violin begins this track, offering an almost classical introduction (not unlike the Electric Light Orchestra). Soon it becomes a bit harder rocking than the previous track; the lighter flute passage is akin to early Jethro Tull, but that violin sets it apart.

"Realta" A delightfully familiar finger-picked acoustic guitar passage provides this song's gentle, melancholic foundation. The vocal harmonies are excellent, and this time the flute outshines the violin. For those familiar with The Steve Miller Band, "Winter Time" sounds very much like this song.

"Immagini Sfuocate" Emerging with a far more experimental sound initially, this piece eventually takes on a more coherent form. From then on, it's all heavy progressive rock finished off by a quick drum solo.

"Il Cieco" The drums fade back in, inviting a cool bass groove to tag along. I really like this primal rhythm and the harmonic synthesizers that creep in. After this, however, is one of the most breathtaking passages I've heard in the genre- violin and flute, like two graceful fairies of different worlds dancing over a lush bed of organ. The tribal business makes a brief return before gorgeous violin and piano finish it off.

"Dialogo" A tumbling bit of guitar and synthesizer kick this off, and soon there's a funky bass line in 6/4 time along with a nasally synthesizer lead. The vocals arrive over piano, and the late verse has a slight Supertramp feel.

"Verso La Locanda" A strange bit of piano opens this track- it sounds like a nervous child practicing at home under the watchful eye of an instructor. A refreshing violin and some rock music rescues the lad. This is, however, the most disjointed of the material on this album, with several abrupt changes and an apparent lack of direction. The verse is one of the quietest points. The flute plays over a calm electric guitar, but everything settles into a nice groove with yet another interesting bass line, and as it picks up, a wild synthesizer solo concludes this difficult music.

"Sogno, Risveglio E..." This has the same feel as the previous track initially, like that of a person practicing the piano at home, although the player here is clearly more advanced- in fact, the piano is brilliant, and the ghostly violin adhering to it, followed by a reluctant flute, is one of the highlights of the album, despite not being a rock song at all. Vocals follow, with discordant fills on the piano. It is strange to me that the band would choose this sleepy work as the conclusion to such an otherwise dynamic and disorderly affair, but perhaps that is my American sensibilities peeking through!

Epignosis | 4/5 |

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